The Spectacle Blog

Pinning Romney Down on Arizona

By on 6.25.12 | 4:54PM

Mitt Romney's campaign has been trying very hard to criticizing the Supreme Court's Arizona decision without taking a firm position on the substantive results. Romney spokesman Rick Gorka had a painful exchange with reporters on the subject.

GORKA: "The governor supports the states' rights to craft immigration laws when the federal government has failed to do so. This president promised as a candidate to address immigration in his first year and hasn’t, and waited actually ‘til four and a half months before the election to put in place a stopgap measure."

QUESTION: So does he think it's wrongly decided?

GORKA: "The governor supports the states' rights to do this. It's a 10th amendment issue."

QUESTION: So he thinks it's constitutional?

GORKA: "The governor believes the states have the rights to craft their own immigration laws, especially when the federal government has failed to do so."

QUESTION: And what does he think about parts invalidated?

GORKA: "What Arizona has done and other states have done is a direct result of the failure of this president to address illegal immigration. It's within their rights to craft those laws and this debate, and the Supreme Court ruling is a direct response of the president failing to address this issue."

QUESTION: Does (Romney) support the law as it was drafted in Arizona?

GORKA: "The governor supports the right of states, that's all we're going to say on this issue."

The dancing continues:

QUESTION: Does he have a position on the law, or no position?

GORKA: "The governor has his own immigration policy that he laid out in Orlando and in the primary, which he would implement as president which would address this issue. Whereas Obama has had four years in the office and has yet to address it in a meaningful way."

QUESTION: But does the Governor have a position on the Arizona law besides supporting the right of states?

GORKA: "This debate is sprung from the president failing to address this issue, so each state is left and has the power to draft and enact their own immigration policy."

QUESTION: But the Arizona law does very specific things, does the governor support those things that the Arizona law does?

GORKA: "We've addressed this."

I noted Romney's immigration caution on the main site this morning.

UPDATE: Romney himself says: "I would have preferred to see the Supreme Court give more latitude to the states, not less. And there are states now under this decision have less authority, less latitude to enforce immigration laws."

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